We all have high hopes that 2021 will bring some normalcy to our lives. However, the impacts of 2020 are still rippling through most retail industries. For example, most retailers base purchasing off of the same time frame from the prior year. 2020 was a total cluster--- to put it bluntly. It provides no baseline AT ALL for retailers to make any kind of predictions or clear decisions about what to buy, how much, and when to get it in (if it gets shipped on time)
Flower farms were literally throwing away product last year around April and May because nothing could be shipped out of South America, and no one was buying due to shutdowns. Many farms plowed under their crops to cut their losses. Then they(the growers) needed to plant flowers in May and June that would mature and be ready for harvest in January. This January. With limited personnel due to either Covid Restrictions or the Illness itself, the number of flower crops that were planted was drastically reduced.
This week alone I have not been able to order in basic flowers such as Snapdragons, Larkspur, some Delphiniums, and Tulips. Limited supplies mean anything that was available Monday is now bought up and new shipments won't be coming until the weekend.
Where am I going with this?
I had a customer who was quite irritated when I had to call them about the order they placed on our website for a specific arrangement. I could not fulfill as pictured because I did not have - and could not get- the flowers in that arrangement. I hate making any customer unhappy but what flowers are available this week are completely out of my control. COVID is STILL making things difficult for retailers to maintain inventory and keep everyone happy with the selections available.
Please== be patient. We are not psychic, we do not know what will sell, how many, and when it will sell. We are doing the best we can to maintain flower inventory based on day to day sales. These flowers need to be shipped from South America and Europe, we do not have greenhouses with these flowers "out back" somewhere that we can harvest from.
Valentines day is right around the corner and I fully anticipate product that order not arriving on time, not being available at the time of shipment, and the possibility that we may disappoint some customers.
Contrary to popular belief, florists don't "get rich" off of Valentines day with the prices we charge. OUR prices triple so basic economics suggests the customers' price triple as well. Do I like it- No. Valentines day is no different profit wise than any other day- we're just doing ten times the volume we would do on a normal day. I would much prefer a steady flow of orders the entire month then the craziness that is Valentines week.
My hope for 2021 is this; that the vaccines become widely available, we all stay healthy, and no one gets shut down again.